Orange County Business Journal

Deal Struck for Balboa Bay Club

Jerry Sullivan Originally published May 1, 2012 at 1:01 p.m., updated May 1, 2012 at 2:09 p.m.

Two Orange County executives are in a deal to buy International Bay Club Inc., the parent of the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club.

A price was not disclosed, and the deal will require the approval of the city of Newport Beach, which leases the land occupied by both clubs on a long-term basis.

Richard H. Pickup and his family members, most of whom are longtime residents of Newport Beach, are leading the investment through private equity firm Eagle Four Partners in Irvine.

Pickup was a major shareholder and director at Epicor Software Corp. in Irvine prior to its sale to London-based Apax Partners last year for $976 million.

Eagle Four Partners and Irvine-based Pacific Hospitality Group will assume joint management of both properties.

Attorney and hotel developer Tim Busch is chief executive of Pacific Hospitality Group, which owns and operates a number of hotels in California, including the Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa and the The Meritage Resort and Spa in Napa Valley.

“We are pleased to be passing the torch to the Pickup family, Eagle Four Partners, and Pacific Hospitality Group as they navigate the next chapter in the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club’s evolution,” David Wooten, chief executive of IBC, said in a statement. “We are confident that they will honor and preserve the rich history of these iconic properties. We remain grateful to [IBC owner] Beverly Ray Parkhurst for her stewardship of these Newport Beach landmarks.”

The 15-acre Balboa Bay Club & Resort includes a 160-room resort hotel, a landmark private club, a 130-slip marina and 145 apartments on Coast Highway along Newport Beach Harbor. The Newport Beach Country Club is near the Fashion Island retail center, and hosts the annual PGA Champions Tour’s Toshiba Classic.

“We plan to continue to embrace and hold true to the rich history and legacy of these fine properties while looking at exciting future enhancements to the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and the Newport Beach Country Club,” said Kevin Martin, principal of Eagle Four Partners. “We want to assure the members of the Newport Beach Country Club and the Balboa Bay Club, that we will be excellent stewards of these assets and will consider all options for improvements to the golf course and hotel/club facilities.”

The transaction is expected to close in approximately 60 days, according to the buyers.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to share in the tradition of managing these iconic properties,” Busch said. “Both the Balboa Bay Club and the Newport Beach Country Club are a perfect complement to our expanding portfolio of high-quality, full-service conference/leisure and lifestyle assets.”